When the Lights Go Out

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Joan Lunden

Joan's Blog /

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This past Saturday night we got hit by one of the biggest storms this area of the country has seen in 25 years. Much of Southern Connecticut where I live, has been declared a “State of Emergency.” As crews work non-stop trying to get the thousands of mammoth trees up off roads along with all the power lines they took with them, families are without electricity.

On that note, I owe my husband a big fat apology. The last time we had a storm which packed heavy winds and fierce rains, we were also trapped in by falling trees (that’s what happens when you choose a beautiful wooded area in which to live-it’s really pretty till it all comes down!) and we had no electricity for 5 days. Our twins at the time – both sets – were in diapers and one set was still on bottles. It was NOT fun!

My husband said “I never want to go through this again, I’m getting us a generator.” When I heard the cost – I said it was silly to pay so much for something we may use once a year, if that. Boy was I wrong. As the kids ran around screaming in the dark Saturday night, Jeff said “Give it a minute for the generator to kick in” and when it did we all let out a big cheer!

There is one really good thing to come from this though. Since we have been told we may not get power restored till next weekend, everyone in the family is trying really hard to make the power we have from the generator last as long as possible. So the entire family is actually doing as their told – they are turning lights out as they leave each room and truly conserving energy. I hope we can embrace this new behavior of ours when this is all over.

On another note, we also resorted to cooking with more traditional ingredients since we had to improvise making dinner – with whatever we had on hand. Unfortunately it was the day before we were going shopping so pickins’ were slim as the saying goes. We had plans to go out to dinner and to see theater that night, but trapped in by the giant trees, I took my fancy clothes off and went to the kitchen to make spaghetti and meatballs, always a favorite with my family. When I realized there were no jars of spaghetti sauce in the pantry I went back to “old fashioned” way of cooking up a pot of sauce. Thankfully I had an onion to chop and brown in some olive oil. Then I found a few cans of crushed tomatoes, some tomato paste, and I had some fresh basil and oregano so I was in business. My 6 year old daughter Kate watched and got a lesson in how a few pinches of sugar can offset the “acidity” of the tomatoes.

Once we all sat down to eat, the kids said “I like this sauce best mom” and I couldn’t help but reflect on how this “inconvenient storm” had its own silver lining. The kids now understand the concept of “energy conservations” and they know a new word – resourceful. It’s become a game each night to figure out what we can cook from the ingredients we have in the pantry. It’s gotten the kids more involved in the meal preparation, and I can only hope that I find a way to make all of this last.

Categories: Family, Joan's Blog
About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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